How a Biopharmaceutical Company is able to Patent Pot
GW Pharmaceuticals is described as a British based biopharmaceutical company known for its 1994 widely approved drug based on cannabis called Sativex. GW Pharma is currently testing another genetically engineered drug based on the cannabinoid, cannabidiol or CBD, called Epidiolex. Epidiolex is intended to treat severe epilepsy in children and young adults. Of the clinical data made available on 58 patients treated with Epidiolex, 44% or 26 patients showed serious adverse events including two deaths. GW Pharma Test Results for Epidiolex
Biopharmaceuticals are drugs produced using biotechnology. Biotechnology is a process involving the manipulation of biological organisms at the molecular level and usually involves DNA itself. (Before DNA can be manipulated, it needs to first be isolated from the cells).
The word biotechnology was first used in 1919 by Karl Ereky, a Hungarian agricultural engineer, when he introduced the concept of genetic change to produce a particular product using living organisms. Please see this link for more information on the history of biotechnology: Drugs obtained by biotechnology processing
Biotechnology was publicized as offering enormous potential for commercial applications in agriculture and health care.
In accordance with the April 15, 1994 adoption of the World Trade Organization (WTO) TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, patents are available for any invention in any and all fields of technology, including biotechnology, as long as the product or process is new, involves an inventive step (defined as non-obvious) and is capable of industrial application (defined as useful). 1994 TRIPS Agreement
It should be noted that the WTO’s 1994 TRIPS Agreement is what paved the way for corporations to patent and introduce GMO’s in our food supply.
GW Pharma states it uses their novel proprietary chemovars to target selected cannabinoids. The word “novel” comes from advances in genetics and can be interpreted to mean that they have genetically modified cannabis seeds to produce specific traits. As a result of this biotech process, the TRIPS Agreement allows for patent approval on their novel proprietary chemovars, the same way Monsanto obtained a patent on their novel or GE seeds.